Monday, August 31, 2020

Purdy Bird QAL Prep Week: Color Inspiration!

It's the first day of the Purdy Bird QAL, and I'm thrilled to finally get started quilting with you! This week is prep week, and it's simply about getting started, gathering needed supplies, and fabric selection planning. So, perhaps the best place for us to start out is talking about one of my favorite topics - COLOR! Since choosing fabrics might be an area where some quilters struggle, I thought that it might be useful to have a little inspiration to help you with fabric selection for the QAL.


First, let's look at a couple options with the original Basic Grey grunge color as listed in the pattern, but with changes to the background color. When I am making quilts, I often tend towards bold and highly saturated fabrics. What really makes those colors pop, are when they are combined with white.

Recently, I made a second version of my Fly High, Dragonfly quilt, using similar colors. I decided on a soft grey for the background, and it was amazing to me how much it changed the overall feel of the quilt - the colors were reigned in and more subtle. Remember, the further two colors are away from each other, the higher the conrast you will have when you combine them.

A pale aqua background gives the quilt a friendly and cheery feel, while still remaining soft. Compared with navy, the quilt has a more dramatic and moodier feel. Pay attention that you don't "loose" fabrics because there is not enough difference in contrast.

If you would like to stick with the original color palette, remember there are two shops carrying fabric kits for the Purdy Bird QAL:

In the US: Pink Door Fabrics is offering a Basic Grey grunge + background fabric kit.

In Germany: Grit's Life is offering a Basic Grey grunge fabric kit, and offers my Purdy Bird pattern in print.


I've already shared a second version of the Purdy Bird quilt in greys, aquas, and chartreuse. This quilt top has a totally different look to the original, and I will reference both of these quilts during the QAL. In the this week's newsletter, I reference the fabrics that I used for this colorway. Again, I played around with different backgrounds to achieve different looks. All of these fabrics are in cool colors, yet are different than the cool colors I used in the original quilt.

Even though I love working with cool and warm color palette, I find that most people usually tend to gravitate towards one in particular. You might like both, one might make your heart beat a little faster than the other. Interestingly enough, even though I find myself working more with cool colors in my quiltig projects, my living room is a pure warm palette... and these Alison Glass batiks are a scrumptous array of warm colors.

As much as I love bold colors and high contrasts, I am quite smitten with a color combination that is soft, subdued, and subtle. Simply by using colors that are a little more decent and controlled, Purdy Bird takes on a whole other look. These muddy colors from Art Gallery fabrics new Terra Kotta line, give a more delicate and romantic feel.

The last color palette is one that has been brewing in my head for a while, and will most likely be the next Purdy Bird quilt that I make. I couldn't very well move on without sharing a color palette using one of my favorite designer's fabrics, now could I?  Playing around with colors on the computer can give me an idea if the general direction that I am going is right, but ultimately, I find that I end up adjusting a lot once I have the actual fabrics in my hands. Should I keep you in suspense which background fabric I will use?

Let's wrap things up now with color, shift gears and address the issue of SIZE... it does matter, you know? Depending on where or how you choose to use your quilt, making a larger quilt might be floating around in your head. So, here are a few ideas for adding to the Purdy Bird quilt:

A simple addition of a few flying geese from the right and left sides could help add length to the quilt.

Alternatively, the flying geese could be running from top to bottom on the sides as well.

By repeating the diamond blocks already included in the pattern, an alternating pattern could add extra length to the quilt.

... and if you are really keen on applique, one of my favorite things to do, is adding applique circle accents.

So, are ready to get started? Then link up your Purdy Bird QAL "Prep Week" progress on Instagram and be sure to use the #purdybirdqal hashtag to qualify for the giveaway.


  1. Great graphics for the colors and their visual impact on different backgrounds! xo

  2. So fun to see all of the different color combinations.

  3. I love the ideas for adding additional sections to increase the size. I was thinking about adding borders but these seem way more fun!


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